HORSE RACIyNG is one of the USA’s oldest sports, dating back to the 17th century, and it has long been associated with gambling.
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Put two horses together on a strip of land and sooner or later someone’s going to bet on one of them being faster than the other.
But when you want to bet on a horse you should, before parting with any of your hard earned, take a long hard look at the reason why you’ve made your particular choice, because not everyone has the luck of Biff Tannen.
For those not au fait with Mr Tannen, he was the villain of the Back to the Future movies and infamously came into possession of Grays Sports Almanac, giving him the results of all major sporting events before they happened, allowing to make his first million at the races on his 21st birthday.
Now, we haven’t all got a time machine or have come into possession a sports’ results book written in 2050, so we must make do with our gray matter rather than a Grays Almanac.
Course and distance form is a good place to start your research. If your selection has never run at the race distance and has a record of five runs and not even a place on the track, then maybe a $10 win bet isn’t the most sensible. However, if he’s five from five over course and distance then a $10 win may be the ideal bet, even if the odds are nothing to get excited about, reports Illinoisgambler.
On certain tracks and in certain races, normally sprints with big fields, the draw can have a major influence on results. Check the draw history of winners, and those that place or show, to see if it has any influence on finishing positions (a place bet is for a horse to finish in the first two; a show bet, the first three). If the last ten winners of a race have all been drawn in stall five or lower, then it might be worth reassessing your selection if they’re in stall 20. CNN SPORT
Trainer form is also worth checking out because that ‘five runs and not even a place at the course’ runner we previously mentioned should come into your thoughts if the trainer is boasting a 33%-win record over the previous two weeks – that’s a third of all his recent runners winning. Maybe a place or show bet on that particular horse would be advisable if the trainer has suddenly come into a rich vein of form.
Time since last run is also worth taking into account especially if a horse hasn’t run for a considerable period – normally due to injury. A horse may have won its last five races at the track but it may also have been out of action for 18 months so you’re trusting to luck that it still retains all its old ability.
Also, always keep an eye on the odds of your horse and if for some reason they shorten dramatically – normally a positive – then you may have just found yourself a good bet. It’s typically information coming from the horse’s connections that sees a big move in odds and if they go the other way, and lengthen, that’s usually the wrong sort of information coming out so you may have just bet on a dud.
So, always do your research, check your odds and then cross your fingers. As long as you only bet what you can afford you can dream of making a million on the horses – or $50.